My Wish List for Zara Canada Online

My Zara Canada Online WishList -
L-R, T-B: Shift Dress ($99.90), Kimono Style Blazer ($79.90), Dress with White Stripe ($79.90), Dress with Faux Leather Pockets ($79.90), Dress with Cape Sleeve ($79.90), Double Breasted Blazer ($139), Coat with Large Pockets ($119), Boho Chic Cardigan ($79.90), and Combined Faux Leather Coat ($119)

My favourite store is online! Zara Canada has made its way into the e-commerce, finally. This is good and bad for me.

GOOD Look at all the nice things that put on my wish list. I like picking out jackets, blazers and dresses from Zara because they can AMP up your outfit for work or going out on a Friday night. I mean, you can wear it a bunch of times with different pieces.

My heart is all aflutter with the blacks, whites, solid brights, leather details, and fantastic shapes in the current collection. I love online “window shopping” and sometimes that turns into some nice additions to my wardrobe. It’s not like I work downtown where I can easily go to a Zara on my lunch break to just scope it out. Best part? If you need to make a return, you can do it at a Zara store – easy!

BAD My wallet will suffer a tiny, tiny heart attack.

What’s on your wish list?


olive + piper: Pretty and Soft vs. Edgy and Cool?

Olive + Piper Necklaces -

Being more “girly” is a recent thing for me. Back in the day, I used to be a tom boy where I climbed trees, dressed only in t-shirts & jeans, and never ever wore jewelry.

I’m a bit older now, and one fashion lesson that I learnt is that accessories like jewelry can completely spruce up an outfit. The next step is finding your style, or different styles! Example: edgy goth, blingy princess, or euro minimalistic.

For me, I kind of like it all. Call me a chameleon if you want to. That’s why I can’t pick between these two necklaces from olive + piper.

Pretty and soft Cheshire Blooming Collar ($35) on the left? Or, edgy and cool Maddox Spike Collar ($30) on the right? HELP ME!

A little about olive + piper from their Twitter bioFollow us for the latest styles in affordable + trendy jewelry that’ll make your heart happy. Ships worldwide.

Boom Brunch with Brains + Beauty Bloggers

Last weekend, I was invited to join Val and fellow bloggers for brunch at Boom Breakfast & Co on Eglinton. It was such a treat because:

– I honestly can’t remember the last time that I went for brunch;
– It is so close to my house, and that makes it easy for those days that I want to crawl out of bed and eat asap; plus,
– The service was sweet and polite!


Should we name this a national treasure? I think so! I devoured this benny with plenty of ketchup, my all-time favourite condiment.

L to R: Maria Amy Elaine

Snap, snap, snap! We have cameras and smart phones…and we know how to use them.

#BoomBrunch Bloggers

Here are the lovely ladies from L to R: Anum, Gloria, Judy (me!), Amy, Elaine, Nataleigh, Val, Maria, Crystal and Ashley. Picture taken by Tamar (our lovely waitress who blogs!) on Maria’s camera – thanks for letting me steal this!

Missing: Alyssa who left just before this picture was taken.

It’s almost the weekend, care for brunch? Boom Breakfast & Co. has 3 locations:

1. 808 College St. (near Ossington)
2. 1036 St. Clair Ave West
3. 174 Eglinton Ave

Girls’ Night Out: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Girls Night Out: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

“A brilliantly theatrical, superbly designed extravaganza of colour and costume, madcap action and fluent dance.” – The New York Times

Back in February, my friend Alison booked off our ballet date. Yes, we need to plan that far in advance because of our busy schedules. Finally yesterday, Alison, Giorgia and I attended “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” presented by The National Ballet of Canada.

We loved it! It is #1 in my ballet books (not that I have any, and I’m still shaky on my pirouettes).

My highlights from the ballet:

1) The Cheshire cat played by 6 dancers holding the head, legs and tail pieces in sync.

2) The comedic portrayal of pivotal scenes like the introduction of the Queen of Hearts with her unwilling suitors.

3) The meaning and details behind the visual depiction of the story with the set, costumes and even choice of characters. This lends so much since ballets do not involve spoken dialogues.

Side note: If you enjoy people watching, the ballet is for you. Basically, you get 4 groups of ballet goers:

1) Tweens dressed up to the 9s including 6-inch heels for the girls and smart suits for the boys. They are likely students from The National Ballet of Canada since I noticed that they got off at Welleslley station on the TTC.

2) Women in their 20’s and 30’s dressed in their fashionable night-out attire. That’s us! And, my co-worker Laura and her friend Erica who attended on the same night.

3) Families with adorable young children.

4) Couples where the girlfriend or wife manages to drag out their boyfriend or husband.

Interested? It is playing until November 25, 2012 at Four Seasons Centre – tickets range from $25-180.

Girls in Tech Toronto #PowerHourSocial: 4 Entrepreneurial Lessons for Women

Girls in Tech Toronto

Today, I made my way to the Edelman office in downtown Toronto for my first event organized by Girls in Tech Toronto (@GITdot). Why I haven’t I gone to a GITdot event before? I have no idea because this #PowerHourSocial was amazing.

The concept of driving innovation and supporting women in technology (traditionally dominated by men) is important to me.

I left the event feeling inspired having learnt so much and talked to women who are smart, driven and ambitious.

As the blog post title says, I have 4 quickie lessons that I took away from the presenters:

1. Alison Gibbins (Simplify Analytics) > Baby Simplify lets new parents in on what they need and don’t need for their baby.
Do what works for you as an entrepreneur in terms of using your time. Think about how you want to go about pushing out your business – go-go-go approach or the slow and steady approach? Think about leveraging the opportunities when you aren’t working your full-time job (i.e. maternity leave).

2. Lorena Scott (MommiesFirst) > MommiesFirst delivers customized  best-of- market baby products according to the baby stages.
Be brave because being an entrepreneur is lonely. Women tend to work hard and be even tougher on themselves.

3. Tamar Melissa Huggins (Driven Accelerator) > Driven Accelerator mentors start-up entrepreneurs in an accelerator style. And, they operate as a non-profit organization!
Make a difference in the lives of others. It’s a selfless approach to building a business, and it can and will work.

4. Natasha Baker (SnapEDA) > SnapEDA is a social network for electrical engineers who are looking to share and acquire CAD representations.
Build on your strengths, and leverage them where you see opportunities. In this case, Natasha saw a big hole in the way her fellow electrical engineers were sourcing visual representations of circuit boards.

Sorry, no pictures. The ones that I took were too blurry! I need to bring a real camera next time.

Check out the next Girls in Tech Toronto event here.

My Favourite Fall Outfit

My Favourite Fall Outfit

First world problem: Shopping for new fall and winter clothes that work for my wardrobe and budget. Forget Forever 21, and don’t say that I didn’t try. I looked, and they had nothing even worth even $10 in the sweater department. My search took me to Eaton Centre and the Yonge/Bloor area, and this is what I found:

1.  Twisted Knit Frilled Jumper from Zara. The wide neck, belted waist, and flared bottom makes this sweater more special and dressy.

2. Edit by Jeanne Beker Military Wool Jacket from The Bay. The cape! The cape! The cape!

3. 5B Wax Coated Denim from Zara.  They have a glean to resemble leather pants for the tough kid look.

Final thoughts:

1. Sweaters are so plain expensive . I don’t remember them being so much in the past. Next time, I’m going to the Dixie outlets and purchasing during off seasons when there are more sales too.

2. Sweaters should come with pockets for all your phone, keys and other trinket-y things.

3. Sweaters in cardigan format are the best. They are versatile for layering, and you can wear them more often since you can switch out the inner layer.

My Skin’s Secret Weapon

In Toronto, the temperatures have dipped to the single digits.

Enter dry skin.

Those dry elbows, dangit! I was even called “chalky” by a coworker. My lotion of choice for these past weeks has been a hotel moisturizer. That’s not the brand name, it’s a mini bottle of grassy-smelling moisturizer from a work stay over at the Park Hyatt.

Time for a change, and my skin needs exfoliant and body butter.

Enter GRATiAE, an organic skin care line.

It’s like Breyers ice cream where there are only a few pure ingredients. I like that because loads of stinky chemicals aren’t good for your body.

I tried the GRATiAE Exfoliating Body Scrub ($59.99) and Body Butter ($59.99).

GRATiAE Exfoliating Body Scrub

This is sweet, literally. The tub is full of sugar, and it’s the best natural exfoliant. It’s way better than that apricot stuff.

After rinsing, I noticed that the water beaded on my skin. It’s the sweet almond oil in the scrub that keeps the skin moisturized.

GRATiAE Body Butter

This is heavy cream, and that makes for the best fall/winter moisturizer. If you are a fan of sweet smells, this is it.

Tip for life. Make sure you moisturize right after a shower or bath. After your skin dries, it doesn’t hold moisture of the creams as well.

Oh, and make sure to get those elbows. You don’t want to be called chalky this fall/winter.

 Here is the rest of the GRATiAE Story:

The name of the company derives from the 2nd century when the Roman emperor Hadrian discovered a hidden natural thermal spring in a mountainous area by the Sea of Galilee in northern Israel. The mineral-rich thermal spring became a popular attraction in the entire Roman Empire due to it’s therapeutic, curative and rejuvenating properties and the natural spa of choice of Roman royalty. The Roman empire named the spring GRATIAE, meaning The Three Graces, after the goddess of charm, beauty and fertility in Roman Mythology. 
The thermal spring is still a major attractive for visitors around the world who bathe in its revitalizing waters to regain their youth and beauty. 
GRATIAE is a skin care line that has been designed with one purpose in mind: anti-aging. It successfully makes use of Gratiae’s thermal spring water and combines it with exclusive materials, flora native to the Sea of Galilee and organic plants. 

I got polished!

I keep my fingernails short. It’s my leftover habit from years of playing the piano. On the odd occasion, I’d try to beautify my short nails by painting them. On the even odder occasion, I’ll have someone else paint my  nails at a salon or spa.

FYI: On the cheapo side, a manicure and pedicure combo costs $35 in Toronto. But, there are better deals at better salons. I got my $25 Buytopia deal at Vikaspa in fancy Yorkville (check it out while it’s still hot).

Nail Polish VikaSpa

My hand “Dutch Ya’ Just Love OPI?” for my fingers | “Malaga Wine” for my toes (sorry, no  feet pictures!)

The good:

– Danielle, my esthestian, was beyond nice. She was insistent on my comfort throughout the 2-hour appointment. I didn’t feel rushed even though it was her last appointment of the day.
– It was clean, and this is important.
– Prime time location that’s easy to get to.

The not so good:

– The nail polish selection is on the small side. But, I was told that they keep it that way to make it easier on the customer to make a decision on polish colour.
– The lack of a real spa feel if you are into that.

Would I go back?

– My nail polish usually chips off within the first minute. But, I managed to keep it relatively chip-free that night from the salon –> Hemingway’s for drinks with friends –> the TTC ride back home.
– I’d go back. In fact, I already booked my next appointment in October.

Thank you @valtorontogirl for this special treat!

My Black Friday Dress

My Black Friday Dress

I’ve been good for so long. My shopping hiatus came to a halt on Black Friday (the American Boxing Day). This dress is from, a retro and vintage clothing shop. For $30 including tax and shipping, this dress is cheap chic!

Maybe I’ll wear it to my holiday party at work where I’ll be in two acts in the talent show (one piano/saxophone duet with the company founder, and one dance/song number with my department). Or, maybe, I’ll wear it to my sister’s wedding!

Now, back to my regular shopping hiatus.

My Birthday Outfit

My Birthday Outfit
My Twitter profile tells you that I’m a hoodie and jeans girl. It’s true, and no one gets it as much as those who know me the most. Take Pia, Middy and Kerby, my best friends, who got me a dressy version of my “uniform” for my birthday! I can do dressy; afterall, I’m in Toronto now.

Billabong assymetrical jacket with hood from Middy and Pia
Perfect for layering under a winter jacket, or layering over a simple tank.

Club Monaco sparkly gold belt from Kerby
Perfect for that extra bling and creating that cinched waist look.

Thank you, girls!